Fidel Castro dies: World reacts to death of Cuba's former Communist leader and revolutionary - as it happened

Raul Castro, the Cuban President, announced his brother's death on Friday night

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Fidel Castro, the former Cuban leader and revolutionary, has died aged 90. Here are the latest updates:

 

 

 

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Raul Castro, the incumbent Cuban President, announced his brother's death on state television late on Friday night.

In his address the elderly leader said Mr Castro died at 10.29pm and will be cremated on Saturday before a period of national mourning is observed.

He ended the announcement by shouting the revolutionary slogan: “Toward victory, always!”

Mr Castro stepped aside 10 years ago after suffering a severe gastrointestinal illness, and before his 90th birthday in August he told supporters he expected to die soon.

There was widespread speculation about the leader's health after he vanished from sight for four years in the 2000s and made increasingly infrequent appearances after a surprise burst of activity in 2010.

He led a guerrilla coup in 1959 to overthrow the regime of the US-backed former Cuban president Fulgencio Batista, and remained hostile to Washington throughout his life.

As US President Barack Obama moved to heal relations with Havana, Mr Castro responded: “We don't need the empire to give us anything.”

His last appearance in public was at an event to mark his birthday with a gala celebrating key moments in his life, including repelling the US-backed attempt to invade in the Bay of Pigs in 1961.

Additional reporting by PA

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